The San Francisco Giants and Houston Astros meet in the second-half of their two-game mini series at Minute Maid. Following Wednesday night, the Astros will depart for Cleveland for a four-game weekend series against the Indians. The Indians find themselves in a tough position in the American League, as they have an uphill battle against the likes of the Astros, Red Sox, and Yankees.
The Tribe reached the World Series in 2016 against the Chicago Cubs and slipped up in Game 7 to fall one game of winning the World Series. Who knows when they will have that chance again, but the Cubs did well ending the century long drought. The Astros won it all a year ago, and others have gotten better in the American League. Cleveland got a small bit of revenge by stomping on the Cubs last night.
Back to the Giants and Astros, where the Giants are a .500 team but don’t have the luxury of playing in the American League Central. A .500 record is good enough for 1st in the division for the Indians, however, all it’s good for is 3rd in the NL West for the Giants. As I’m writing this article, the Astros are in full control of the Giants by a score of 11-2. Barring a collapse from the relievers, and the pitching has been outstanding for the Astros, it’s going to be an easy win. Gerrit Cole was great once again, as he paced the Astros. It won’t get any easier today for the Giants. Justin Verlander finds himself on the hump this afternoon against the Giants on Wednesday. Head below for our free Giants vs. Astros pick on May 23rd in MLB.
San Francisco Giants vs. Houston Astros Pick
Jeff Samardzija (1-2, 6.30 ERA) vs. Justin Verlander (4-1, 1.05 ERA)
Verlander has been virtually unhittable after the Astros acquired him in a trade with the Tigers last season. While a lot of credit should go around for the World Series win, JV put the rotation over the top and was a catalyst for the ‘Stros. Verlander has picked right up where he left off, locking opposing hitters up at the plate regularly. Verlander enters with a flawless ERA of 1.05. He’s allowed more than 2 runs just once this year, back on April 3rd against the Orioles. In his last three outings he has allowed just 2 runs in 21 innings. That equates to an ERA of 0.86, with a 0.81 WHIP.
The former Notre Dame wide receiver, Jeff Samardzija, has had his moments in the majors. However, he has just about hit the expiry date on his career. Samardzija posted a 4.42 ERA last season and has sharply dropped off in 2018, at least thus far. He enters with a 6.30 ERA and a 7.16 ERA and .329 OBA in his last three outings. Samardzija has allowed at least 5 runs in three of his last five outings. It may not mean much, because the Giants are going to need to hit Verlander, which I don’t see happening. It likely won’t be as bad of a beatdown as last night, but expect another comfortable win for the Astros on Wednesday behind another strong performance from Verlander.